Whether you are having a budget problem or want something smaller than a travel trailer, you can consider a small camper on the back of your pickup truck. With simple DIY we have created a beautiful truck bed camper for all the truck camping lovers. The reason being we wanted this whole thing to be bolted to the truck bed using the bolts in the far back of the truck bed. All of the pieces were put together using a Craig Tool and screws. Now, this is the time to affix the frames and the roof. You have to seal all the connecting joints to ensure that no air enters the interior. Using plywood or light wooden planks is the most vital part of how to build a lightweight truck camper guide. In Lando we're going to need to sleep with the windows and even the back hatch open for circulation, so we thought that it would be a good idea to have the netting. At this rate all we wanted to do is get on the road, this build just needed to be functional so we could live out the year with the gear we need. Once we slid it into position it wasn't going anywhere. DCU utility truck cap access doors provide amazing panoramic views. These DIY truck topper camper ideas will show you how to add an expandable cab-over. It’s difficult to add insulation to factory-produced truck campers, and Matt did a great job of making his unusually well-insulated. They offer 9 hard-side truck bed camper models with an even ratio between the best short bed truck campers and long bed truck campers. We found that if purchased through a skate shop they were nearly 4x the price even with a bulk discount. In fact, learning how to build a lightweight truck camper is not rocket science. Currently working as a blogger, he takes pride in providing comprehensive contents about camping knowledge, survival skills based on his own experience. He even made sure to add extra insulation to the area underneath the cab-over bed. You have to set up a battery to power up the electric tools and kitchen appliances. You’ll probably want your little “truck bed shed” to be light-weight, and it should be built to withstand high winds and mild earthquakes… both depending on how you prefer your driving experience. ***Side Note: We have also seen people wrap the drawer front in the industrial carpeting you can buy on the roll at Home Depot, it's pretty cheap and insulating. The biggest disadvantage is that with space comes things and things have weight. Take three measurements when analy… The next step of how to build a lightweight truck camper is to do make the walls and the roof insulated and waterproofed. On either side of where this shelf lives there is open space that goes all the way down to the truck bed for storing gear. DIY Truck Bed Camper: Build the Ultimate Sleeping Platform for Truck Camping. More typical are removable truck campers. A lot has changed for us recently, as I'm sure you've gathered. We've seen plenty of builds like this that just use a camping sleeping pad, regular foam, or anything that you have access to that you feel is comfortable. Use plywood to create separate sections and build the interior fixtures. The only way to overcome this monetary setback is to learn how to build a lightweight truck camper. Pro Tip: the velcro snags the hell out of the bug netting, to prevent this I ended up putting the other looped side of the velcro on when the curtains are not in use. By waiting until this step in the process we were able to be sure that the drawer faces were lining up perfectly with each other and the drawer frame. However, this truck bed design puts more emphasis on storage space. Now, the first thing to do is grab the 1×2“ woods and cut it into pieces to form and structure the two frames of the truck bed cover. Fancy isn't it?! Also, it is pretty inexpensive compared to purchasing a camper. After a quick internet search, we decided that we wanted to look for a Toyota Tacoma with a bed camper shell. “I know I do not have a truck camper, but I have always been a fan. The bottom velcro just needs to hold the curtain against the wall when we're on a slant. The cuts were easy using a metal cutting blade in a jigsaw! We're headed into Canada and last year we were frequently chased inside in the evenings by mosquitoes. How to Build a Truck Bed Camper for UNDER $400. Anyone who loves to go camping or wants to explore their country must love the idea of a truck camper. The next step is to secure the roof to the frame. Best RV Cover Reviews For RVers: Do NOT Buy Before Reading This! Carlos Perry’s passion for outdoor activities can be traced back to 5 years ago when he spent a significant time to conquer beautiful pristine lands and experience different cultures with his best friends. For those who're on a very tight budget, you don't have to buy a memory foam mattress. Diy Truck Bed Campers . The Truck The white truck included within this undertaking can seat two minifigures as a result of huge quantity of space in the cab. When it is done, apply a layer of plywood on them. They will form the main support for the structure. Most campers prefer building elevated sleeping platforms. A few more things I want to make mention of is that our bed will actually rest from the passenger side of the truck bed to the sidewall of the drawers on the driver side. You could also skip the DIY part and get This is what we came up with. Building the frame was an easy process once we knew the what we were after. After the base was made we added the upright pieces for the outsides of the boxes as well as the center beam. All it takes is to follow the five straightforward and quick steps listed below. We installed 12 bearings per drawer slide in an alternating pattern that can be seen in the above images. : I wanted to make a camper bed with pullout drawers for my truck. We constructed two cabinets and two middle support sections. Cut the fabric into pieces in a way that it should overlap around the corners. These guys allow you to create threading in wood without ruining the threading if you ever need to remove the screw. For the bottom of the drawers, we also cut a dado that ran along the bottom of all the drawer sides and end caps. Most have curved ridges and protruding bumps which really mess with your nice and neat design. We installed lift-off lids to create the rest of our bed platform, and also to allow us access to these compartments when we need it. You can glue and screw the planks to the beams. We made the tough decision to turn around and sell Amelia on the side of the road somewhere near the Tail of the Dragon in western North Carolina. I also have a 230 volt 2 kilowatt electric element/fan heater, which is used on hook up only for morning warm ups and evening wind downs. But, gas cylinders can also be used to power a heater. Gluing and stapling will be enough if you are using hardwood plywood. The driver side we left open because of a plan we will get to shortly. We cut the sides of the drawers with regularly spaced out dados (slots cut into the surface of a piece of wood) so we could add dividers to the drawers later once the whole thing was constructed. DIY Truck Bed Camper: Build the Ultimate Sleeping Platform for Truck Camping In this post we’ll walk you through the build process for our truck bed sleeping platform as part of our DIY truck bed camper build, including everything from design choices to finished assembly. This makes it difficult for you to sit up. I have a strip heater in air conditioner unit. In that case, the RV solar panels have to be installed on the roof. We're willing to pay the $93 for the mattress. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can organize your equipment to make the most out of your truck bed. We recruited help! A DIY truck camper, like the one crafted by Duncan McGovern, may be just what you need. We cut the hole in the drawer front and then applied black spray paint to the drawer fronts to give it a cleaner look and riveted the handle into place. When we purchased Lando I was excited to see that the inside of the camper shell was felted because I knew right away that our curtains and bug netting could easily be attached using velcro. If you liked this article please don’t forget to like it, share it, tweet it, etc! This YouTube video has all the information you need. Share This. And how to install the full luxury beds in the vehicle rears that can be covered with the mattress to make you live the luxury. 3x 4'x8' Sheets of 1/2" Plywood - $107.85, 1x Box of Self Tapping Metal Screws - $5.40, x6 Threaded Wood Inserts for Drawer stops - $3.00, Cork Underlayment (left over from Amelia) - $0.00, Spray Paint for Drawers (left over from Amelia) - $0.00, Fabric for Curtains (left over from Amelia) - $0.00, Velcro for Curtains (left over from Amelia) - $0.00. We purchased two "T" handle locking latches to use as our locks/drawer pulls. Truck Bed Cabinets/Storage Building the storage/cabinet platform. We purchased 50 bearings in all and used 46 of them for our sliding system. Don’t use metal if not absolutely required. We assembled 3 sides of the drawers, then slide in the 1/4" thick ply drawer bottom before capping the ends. Using 1/2" plywood we started framing out the bed platform/drawers. (FREE) ... in my full-time tiny-house on wheels -- my simple home-built truck bed camper. After all of this was in place we cut down the last little bit of remaining bolt so it wouldn't prevent the drawer from sliding and catch on the side of the drawers. Once we saw that everything looked right we went back and installed the drawer faces with latches. But it’s not like anyone can afford a purpose built truck camper. Use as many nails and bolts as required because the frame has to be strong and durable. When I first started sewing the velcro to the netting I realized that it felt really flimsy, so using scraps of the curtain fabric (that otherwise would've been trash) I folded them over the edge of the bug netting to give it some support and then sewed the velcro to that. You have to make the frame with leaving blank slots for windows and the door. Hey Friends! All the detail process is in this blog, follow this and make your own truck bed camper with simple DIY of your own. For this little project we used two packs of bug netting, one entire package went to building the back hatch netting, and the second package made the side vent window covers. When the curtains aren't in use we just stick the bottom of the curtains to the ceiling so they're out of the way...and it makes it look real homey in there! Side note: we still needed to do small pilot holes into the metal. All these amenities make it perfect for camping during those cold winter nights. Seeing everything laid out this way really helped us wrap our minds around how we wanted to organize all of our belongings for once we were done building the truck out. Outside Walls - Holding each bearing in place are a bolt-bearing-nut-washer-wood wall-washer-nut with loctite. These bolts are there to hold the bed liner into place are very robust with plenty of extra threading. I have solar electric DC charging of the battery bank.” You can use an electric camp heater that draws power from the battery. A lot of his work was published on well-known travel magazines like: Travel+Leisure, Thrillist. Check out the lift in action: Truck Bed Camper Lift. Even if you buy an expensive appliance like a refrigerator and microwave for your new truck camper, the cost won’t exceed a thousand dollars. A truck camper owner’s best friend is a high quality, digital battery monitor like a … It won't take long because this was the least amount of work we've ever needed to do to ready a rig for life on the road. And since it has space to add items on the side or in your drawers, no need to hassle yourself with packing and with your car being so filled with bags. This is something we did just because we had the cork leftover from our build in Amelia. Best RV Mattress Short Queen 2021 | Top 10 Picks for RVers, Top 8 Best RV Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Reviews, The 10 Best 4-Person Tents For Camping In 2021. Follow these instructions to construct your dream camper: Secure the metal joints with the truck sides and attach them to the wood beams. The biggest advantage of this combination is quite simple: You can create the maximum amount of storage space. All in all, it's an easy project that anyone can do. A lot has changed for us recently, as I'm sure you've gathered. You can get the job done with a tarp, guylines, and poles. Try to flatten with hands or something else to smooth out the wrinkles. It could have a curved or a triangle shape, according to your preference. When the entire slider system was in place we installed the drawers into place to check our work! It was cool to see the idea for the curtains in place and working like a dream. Stationary campers eliminate the hassle of loading and unloading the camper, but also prevent you from using the truck bed for other uses during camping trips. The A.R.E. The above price list breaks down what we used and what we actually paid for. The Elevated Truck Bed. We've quickly arrived at the last thing needed to make our little Taco home complete, the mattress. Purchasing is not an option if you are looking for saving money. But we want to show you how to build out perhaps the most complicated flatbed truck camper you can have: the long-bed truck with the short bed camper. It seems like an easy step, but in order to maximize your space, you have to contour your design to your truck bed. We bought four lengths of tubing in all, two for each drawer. Once the overall frame was constructed, the measurements for the drawers were easy to figure out! We needed the frame to span the entire width between the wheel wells so we maximize the little space we have for our drawers. Get All My Video Courses & Music For Just $7! The platform will allow you to store your camping supplies underneath your bed and eliminate the need to set u… In that case, consider turning your pickup truck bed into a DIY truck bed camper cabinet to enjoy a mini-camper van experience. You can also connect the battery a mini solar system to have a steady power supply. Use fix glass for the side windows to reduce the costs. Then, attach the kind of fabric you want to attach – it could be bed sheets or canvas. Camping in a pickup truck is one of the best ways to get off the beaten path and explore the outdoors. Learning how to build a lightweight truck camper is not difficult. Owen behind the wheel of Amelia and me at the helm of Lando (the new Tacoma) we completed the drive south. We also painted the visible portions of the drawer system to show we care...a little. Do it Yourself RV. Convert Your Truck Into a Camper: If you have a truck with a topper, this instructable will show you how to design and build a sleeping platform for the bed of your truck. After 3 weeks on the road in Amelia, we quickly realized that she wasn't going to be a long term fit for us. Install several plastic electrical boxes instead of a single panel to get better and easier access. And to go camping in a truck camper would guarantee a comfortable and relax experience. With the velcro as the means of attaching these curtains, they went up in 2.5 seconds. Fans who join my Patreon get all of my books, courses, music, podcasts, videos, and more for just … Now for the second step: attaching the rails down the side of the drawers to work with the bearing placement. This article will show you how to build a lightweight truck camper right on your own truck. So, be careful and cover it first to prevent any costly damage. Build a slot for storing a pre-charged battery and set up the wires that connect it to the tools and appliances. But if you still desire a trip with the truck camper, there is a solution. That way when the whole thing is constructed it uses the wheel wells for additional support. We used 2 per stopper 6 total for all 4 stoppers because the center divider was able to hold a stopper for each drawer using one set of threaded inserts. When the mattress arrived it was a bit big for the space, using a large kitchen knife it was really easy to cut it down to size. With the lift built and operating successfully it was time to move on to the cabinets. Plus, some people don’t want to drive around with such a huge vehicle. The assembly is bolt-bearing-nut-washer-wood wall-washer-nut-bearing-nut with loctite. Get a FREE Preview of my Book "How To Build Your Own DIY Truck Camper And Get Off The Grid For Dirt Cheap" ! In the end, we only needed to cut off 3-4 inches of excess tubing to make them work with our drawers. It also provides limited headroom. Then, attach the bolts, latches, and hinges as required. Apply a layer of PVC sheet on the walls and metal foil on the roof. Here is what we came up with: Our goals with this build is for it to be cheap, sleep two people, have full-length drawers for our belongings, storage along the side of the bed in the negative space around the wheel wells, and be quick to build. For each of these panels, I only did three strips of velcro along the bottom because these don't need to hold tight to the wall all the time. Finish the step by adding a layer of pressure treated wood planks that keep away microorganisms, termites, and fungal decay. Here in another week or two we will do a more detailed post of the completed inside build, our thoughts on the design since having some living experience with it, and what we've changed if anything. The very next day we started building out our new home in the Tacoma. With the bed/drawer structure complete we moved onto making a little shelf to sit on top of the wheel well on the driver side. However, a new truck camper will set you back for several thousand dollars. The back hatch curtain ended up being a little different because we needed velcro down the sides to hold it against the window. DIY Pickup Truck Bed Camper Cabinet. Learning how to build a lightweight truck camper will solve both the issues for you. We just wanted to be sure we included the gear we used to help you on your quest if you needed it to. We also wanted to have the ability to pull the drawers out if we ever needed to so Owen found these nifty little threaded wood inserts. Battery Monitor. A truck with a camper on the back does not come cheap. When the glue dries, apply at least three coats of latex paint. Purchasing a shell which sits on a heavy duty chassis is the first step in building your camper, which usually cost around 2000$ to 4000$ depending on the specifications. Thanks! It will keep the glass attached to the trim and seal all the slits and cracks. A truck with a camper on the back does not come cheap. The following is a list of things that we used, some we bought specifically for this build, some are leftovers from Amelia. Creating your own wood truck bed Tonneau cover is not as hard as to how it seems to be. You can not lose out on the campers. Batta-bing, batta-boom we now have a complete living/sleeping space in Lando! We did this to be sure that the drawer is being supported on the top and bottom by the sliders when the drawer is fully deployed. At first, use a brush or paint roller to apply glue on the entire exterior. Table of Contents . Comments are closed. May 6, 2019 - This detailed step-by-step guide will provide you with everything you need to build the ultimate sleeping platform for truck bed camper - keeping you comfortable and organized on your next truck camping adventure. top 20 Diy Truck Bed Campers . When we decided to sell Amelia I suggested that we pick up a cheap car and continue to travel until we could figure out what was next for us. After getting a truck cap, I gathered up some reclaimed wood from pallets and old shipping crates and went to town breaking them down into usable lumber. But, truck beds can be a hassle to organize. Testing out our belongings in the drawers, travel, toyota, camper, camp, hike, photoagraphy, travel blog, vanlife, Cards, games, review, uno, phase 10, Road trip, travel, entertainment, reading. But, without the rip-away screen we wouldn't be able to sit comfortably in our truck camper with the access door open. Did you enjoy this post about building a truck camper setup? Put Styrofoam in between the spaces of the framing fixtures. When we're ready to use them we will just need to pull off the other side and store them until the screen comes off. Anytime I can make sparks while constructing something, I'm a pretty happy lady! Pickup Truck Camping Guide. For our sliders, we decided to use skateboard wheel bearings that we purchased, again, off of Amazon. Remove the staples later. These handles came in a day and a half and were exactly what we were looking for! When you’re not hauling around groceries or carpentry items in the back of your truck, perhaps you’re taking off on a camping trip. Also, remember that your truck insurance company is unlikely to cover any damage done during the remodeling. The next thing you have to do is to cover the plywood layer so that no part is left exposed. After it was cleaned out we measured out and did a full-size replica of the truck bed in tape on the ground so we could do our planning and gather all the measurements we needed to create our floor plan. Then, lock the beams together with nuts and nails. Keep all the wires and receptacle under the truck bed. The shelf ended up being the exact dimensions of the wheel well and the negative space next to the bed. Read More → Fridge Slide: A DIY Alternative for Truck Camping and Overlanding. The best thing is.. It’s entirely up to you. : I wanted to make a camper bed with pullout drawers for my truck. For the overall construction was super simple three of the panels were simple rectangles with a higher concentration of velcro along the top of the curtain. We didn't realize how important a screen for our truck camper conversion was until the first time we camped in our truck bed. For the time being though, we'll sit back and enjoy our hard work. Now you know about truck campers, take a look at this page to learn about other kinds of RV campers. Most people love camping but not everyone has the financial solvency to purchase an RV. This is a quick and easy way … We attached the drawer fronts during a different step in the process, we will loop back to that shortly. These use manual or hydraulic jacks and stabilizers to lift the camper so you can drive your truck under the camper portion for installation and removal at home or at the campsite. Truck campers are usually thought to be the most versatile type of recreational motor vehicle. The reason we decided to do this is that it was a bit of a dead zone for potential storage. Purchasing 2×4 planks and then cutting them to the 2×2 size with a table saw will save the expenses further. It will be expensive but proves to be cost-efficient in the end. A Quick Guide on How to Build a Lightweight Truck Camper, 8 Worst Travel Trailer Brands to Avoid Today [2021 Update], Best Travel Trailer & RV Brands 2021 – Top Rated Manufacturers, Top 10 Best Class C RV Brands For The Money, The Cheapest State to Buy RV: Evading Sales Tax and Other Fees, A Breakdown of Living in an RV Full Time Cost, Metal foil roof (for waterproofing the roof), Wood or plywood with PVC sheathing (for waterproofing the walls), Lines of bubble wraps (to protect the interior from moisture). A DIY truck bed camper is the best option for those travelers who don’t want to pitch a tent or drive a huge trailer. Now that our drawers are taking shape for the first time we thought that this would be a great time for us to test out the drawers for how much they could hold. Also, it is necessary to chip and interconnect the planks together to form a strong bond. But you will surely be after taking a tour of these 5 DIY Camper Shell Projects. DIY Truck Bed Camper! Now for the bug netting. Feb 7, 2019 - DIY Truck Bed Camper! Without secure storage, your accessories are going to be sliding around the bed. This DIY truck camper comes with a special fuel tank, a Tiny Tot wood stove, and lots of insulation. We realized that now was never going to be a better time for us to pass her onto a new and loving home is that she is in "new" condition. If you want to build your own truck camper, here are the tools, materials, and instructions on how to do it. All Rights Reserved. You might want to bring these 15 … We don't have any pictures of this part of the process but we pulled the bolts out before we slide the frame into place, once it was in we drilled the holes into the drawer frame from under the truck. We looked high and low for these handles locally and could only find single handles that were keyed differently, so naturally, we turned to Amazon for help. I feel like we should make mention of the few truck specific things that we did to prepare Lando for the road before we wrap up this post. Do it Yourself RV . But, doing so without incurring extra costs is quite tough. Keep these layers as parallel to the surface as possible and firmly secured together. Once we had the exterior pieces for the drawers cutdown we cut the slider rails for the sides of the drawers to match. Tour My NEW DIY Camper. Apply glue, clamps, and staples to attach the interior panels to the frame. In our experience bugs in the summer can really put a damper on a sweet spot. Low and behold this 'Lil Taco was for sale an hour and a half south on the border of Georgia and North Carolina. As a result, it does not offer the truck campers with the most comfortable option. We're excited to share the process of building out a truck bed because of how accessible it is to so many people who are interested in hitting the road for the weekend, a month or even a year. A purpose built truck camper guide love camping but not everyone has the financial to! With nuts and nails termites, and staples to attach the kind of fabric you want to the. The little space we have for our sliding system different because each bolt has to have a steady supply power. Here are the tools, materials, and gloves when making the DIY part and get Elevated... Way … steps on how to build a lightweight truck camper: secure roof... The 1/4 '' thick ply drawer bottom before capping the ends let ’ s office heater off propane even a! In any way all of the 2008 Tacoma you see above construct your dream camper: follow instructions. Your car move on to the trim and seal all the connecting joints to ensure no. Did n't have it on hand we would n't be able to sit.! Do small pilot holes into the metal our little Taco home complete, the RV solar panels have to installed! During those cold winter nights back and enjoy our hard work power the... 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